Emma Townley, marketing manager at Harbour Lights Picturehouse in Southampton, takes a look through today’s Discover Tuesdays presentation of HERMITAGE REVEALED.
HERMITAGE REVEALED gives an in-depth look into one of the biggest museums in the world, which holds three million objects in more than 2,000 rooms. The opening credits provide us with a sense of culture as stunning time-lapse shots introduce us to the beautiful city of St Petersburg while highlighting the prominence of the Hermitage Museum. Considering its age, this 250-year-old building looks majestic and modern – as do the treasures preserved within.
As fascinating as it would be merely to visit the museum, this documentary also allows us to see exclusive collections and areas usually closed to the public, giving viewers a VIP tour of some of Russia’s rarest and oldest treasures.
As we follow a young boy’s path through the museum, his facial expressions and evident wonder reveal that art is universal and can speak to anyone, regardless of age, race, gender or culture. The further we are guided through the grand building, the clearer it becomes that it’s truly a palace, filled with rich portraits and timeless architecture.
The documentary is packed with information, including about the founder of the Hermitage: Empress of all Russia, Yekaterina Alexeevna (Catherine II), also known as Catherine the Great, was Russia’s most renowned and longest-ruling female leader. We are shown her endless collection of paintings – which includes works by Rembrandt, Titian, Rubens and Caravaggio – and behind the scenes in the costume department we even get an exclusive look at the clothes she wore!
This film completely absorbed me, and I felt privileged to have had an up-close-and-personal tour of the museum’s huge art collection without having set foot through its doors. Everything about it captivated me – the history, the architecture, the politics, and even that small boy, who may have not understand the importance of where he was, but who was enraptured nonetheless.
HERMITAGE REVEALED isn’t just for art fans, though. It’s also an important historical documentary, rich in culture and offering a glimpse into a fascinating world. I recommend it to everyone.